Baharul Islam

Indian Institute of Management Kashipur
Kashipur, India

About Baharul


Dr K M Baharul Islam has been teaching and researching in the area of Communication, Development, Information Technology policy and legal issues for almost twenty years. Starting his career as a Lecturer at West Silchar College, Cachar, Assam (1992), he continued working as a faculty at various institutions like Gauhati University (1993), Diphu Government College (1993-94) and NIT Silchar (1994-2002). In 2000-2001 he served abroad as a Sr. Lecturer at Kigali Institute of Technology, Rwanda. He became a Reader at NCERT, New Delhi in 2002. He later joined as an Associate Professor of TEFL at Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia) in 2002. Between 2007 and 2012 Dr Islam served as the Chairman and CEO of the South Asian Regional Gateway set up by the Delvelopment Gateway (USA).

Besides teaching Dr Islam has also worked extensively with UN agencies starting as a Consultant for UNESCO in Cambodia in 1998. Later he worked on ICT Policy, Plans and e-Government Strategy with the UN Commission for Africa (UNECA) during 2003-2006. He developed e-Govt Strategies and National ICT plans for several countries. In 2006-2007, Dr Islam served under UNESCAP, Bangkok to conduct an ICT Access Survey in the Asia-Pacific region. He was working for African Development Bank as their Mid-Term NICTSP Review Consultant in Mauritius (2010-11).

He has published widely with more than eight books and 30+ papers/articles to his credit. He is a public speaker, debater, TV commentator and communication specialist. He participated at the BBC World Debate in 2006 that brought him to international development communication limelight. He has written the chapter on ICT and Poverty Reduction for the first Encyclopedia of Digital Governance published in 2006.

He holds LLM in Telecom and Information Technology Laws from the University of Strathclyde (UK), MA (English) from AMU, Aligarh. He did his PhD from the Tezpur University (India) and Post-Doctorate from Asian Institute of Technology (Bangkok) on new technologies in education. Besides he has also done B.Ed. specializing in Educational Planning and Administration.

Dr Islam is a recipient of Majaz Gold Medal in MA and United Kingdom Telecom Academy Fellowship. Two of his past projects in India and Ethiopia have received The World Bank’s Development Marketplace Certificate Recognition in 2003 and 2007.

Areas of Expertise

Communication Strategy, ICT Policy and Plans, E-Government Strategy, Telecom Regulation, Information Technology & Cyber Law, Gender mainstreaming, Media and Entertainment Business, Corporate Law, Educational Planning and Administration, Public Speaker & Spokesperson

An idea worth spreading

Floods continue to wreak havoc every year in the North Eastern state of Assam in India, as heavy monsoon rains have caused the Brahmaputra and its tributaries to overflow forcing more a million people to leave their homes. Women and children are worst affected and it takes away their livelihood options. My idea is to create a sustainable mechanism in the flood-affected areas to sharpen the women’s skills of local-resource based alternative livelihood activities and to institutionalize capacity building of villagers to mitigate the economic damage caused by flood.

I'm passionate about

I like to help to the victims of any emergency. I have worked in some major conflict scenarios: in Cambodia, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Sudan. I am keen on recovery planning and research.

Talk to me about

ICT for Development, eGovernment, Gender & Women Rights, Communication and Social Media space, writing and public speaking on motivation to excel with minimum resources, legal aid to poor and needy.

People don't know I'm good at

Motivational lectures, conducting workshops on increasing people's capacity to succeed where others fail.

My TED story

Incorporation of gender equity and women’s agenda in Information Technology initiatives has been my weapon to combat the exclusion-inclusion syndrome of digital power relations. When I was assigned by UN-ECA to design an ICT Policy for The Gambia, I set up an example for gender equity and poverty alleviation a the same time as default objectives of the national ICT policy. Looking at the Gambian situation, I proposed Internet Cafés managed by women throughout the country. My challenges included: availability of resources, low level of literacy among women, and shortage of electricity. The ICT policy was debated widely by the stakeholders and later accepted as a "show case" ICT Policy for the Africa.